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West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center

The mission of the Regional Forensic Center is to investigate sudden, unexpected and unnatural deaths with the highest level of professionalism, compassion and efficiency, and to provide a resource for improving the health and safety of the community consistent with the general mission of Public Health.

At the start of 2020, the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center will begin initiating and certifying all death certificates for medical examiner cases in VRISM. Funeral homes will no longer initiate death certificates for medical examiner cases at the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center. This change in procedure will begin with all medical examiner cases with dates of death on or after January 1st, 2020. Cases with dates of death on or before December 31st, 2019 will still require funeral home initiation, regardless of when the examination takes place. Click here for more information.

Medicological Mission


  • Conduct medicolegal death investigations.
  • Perform autopsies to certify cause and manner of death and recover evidence.
  • Testify in court proceedings.
  • Provide public service to citizens and professional colleagues throughout the Region.
  • Educate peers and professionals on subjects related to death investigation.

Public Health Mission


  • To investigate, identify and gain an understanding of unnatural deaths.
  • Provide support and technical assistance to local and State, Child Fatality Review Teams.
  • Protect the public's health and safety, participating in the criminal justice and health systems, and providing data for vital statistical purposes.
  • Identify index cases and pathogens in disease outbreaks in the interest of public health.
  • Cooperate with organ procurement organizations to save lives through organ donation and transplantation

Operations

  • 24 hour Facility (7 days a week)
  • Administrative and Clerical Staff
  • 5 Full-time Forensic Pathologists
  • Medico Legal Death Investigators
  • Forensic Anthropologist
  • Forensic Autopsy Technicians
  • Transport Team

Forensic Center network graphic showing the connection between different agencies.

Last Published: Jul 8, 2021